Articles,  Highlights

Calf soul

João Póvoa is a medical ophthalmologist surgeon in Coimbra, but a farmer for passion. The familiar roots in viticulture have now made him launch a very special red, a top of the tops of the Gene brand.   

Wine is a business, but there are wines that are not made for business. They are wines that, more than the profit they can give, mark the story of a producer who wants to make a quality wine with a purely emotional goal. This is the case of this wine – Gene – of bairradino producer João Póvoa, who since his childhood has been linked to viticulture and through it intends to revive and make known family moments spent in the cellar and vineyard with his maternal grandfather, father and mother.

It was the grandfather who taught him how to make wine traditionally in an old wooden balseiro. The father taught him to perceive and select the quality of the grapes in the vineyard for the production of different wines. But the vineyard was his mother's space, which taught him to intervene in the vineyard at the right time. With her she developed a great complicity and with her support she developed her first bottler producer project from 1991 to 2007 in Quinta de Baixo, in Cordinhã, lands that were already family and where he built a winery he sold in the meantime. It was in this year of transition to other adventures that John made this wine, combining three techniques of three generations: from grandfather the balseiros replaced by open barrels of 700 liters, from the father the open mills, and of himself the desengace and the stage in barrels. These facts, told by the producer, also appear more detailed in the original three-sheet label glued to the bottle.    

Wine is sold in packs of two bottles in file format
Gene's wine label tells the story of three generations. A tribute to the family.

At the time he did Gene, João Póvoa no longer wanted to think about wine. He swore to his feet together that that would be the last wine he would make, the time was scarce, spent most of the time in consultations at the Hospital de Coimbra, and the wine gave a lot of work. However, the passion for viticulture and wine has always remained in its restless spirit and, in 2005, returned to agricultural agreements with Kompassus, a company that bets on the production of wines based on roots and family traditions. That is why he is a producer who only makes high quality wines, supported by organic production methods and sustainable viticulture practices. For the care he has in the vineyard and in the cellar, and in the wines he produces, it is not surprising that João Póvoa is considered a recognized producer, awarded numerous times by the magazines of the specialty. His small but enthusiastic team includes the equally recognized winemaker Anselmo Mendes and, more recently, Magda Costa, formerly Of Global Wines.

João Póvoa with winemaker Anselmo Mendes

Being an enthusiast of 'his' Bairrada, of its soils, climate and grape varieties – Baga was soon selected as the basis of all its red and sparkling wines. And the grapes are mostly from old vineyards over 70 years of age, giving rise to wines essentially natural wines and limited editions. Within of the range of wines it produces, this Gene comes to put itself at the top of the hierarchy and makes known a mineral red, powerful, dense body, concentrated and deep.  A wine with a large complexity and freshness, a classic bairradino of crying for more. There's Baga, of course (70%) but also other varieties such as The Touriga Nacional, Água Santa (which appeared in Bairrada in the 1950s and stayed there), Moreto de Cantanhede (almost extinct and that João Póvoa is recovering) and Bastard, all of them coming from of old vineyards.

Once produced, the wine aged in 300 litre French oak barrels for two years (1 year in new barrels, and the following year transported again to barrels have finally been filled with 2400 bottles, of which will only be launched on the 1500 market. Sold in an original packaging reminiscent of a briefcase archive (such file of family memories), the wine will be around the 190 (2 bottles) in reference bottles.